by Kenneth Lyen
There are a few things that Asians seem to do better than non-Asians. They can use chopsticks at an earlier age, and they excel in certain sports like table tennis and badminton. There is one other activity that Asians seem to do better than Westerners, and that is they are potty trained earlier.
A study in the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia published in the Journal of Pediatrics showed that in recent years, there has been a rise in the average age at which toilet training is completed. In the 1950s, the average age in which children completed their toilet training was almost 29 months, and over 97 percent were toilet trained by the age 3. In recent studies, however, only about 50% of children completed toilet training by the age 3.
Although we do not have any hard statistics, paediatricians who have worked both in Western countries and in Asia, have noted the striking difference in the age at which the respective children attain bladder control.
The study in Philadelphia showed that there was a correlation between the age at which potty training was started, and the age at which toilet training was completed.
Asian tend to start potty training far earlier than Westerners. Most Asian families would place their babies on a potty from as young as 6 months old. This is done as a routine after each major meal. The caregiver would hold the baby over the pot, and make suggestive "shee shee" or "er er" noises, hoping that the infant would pee pee or execute a bonus business deal. It is indeed a labour of love.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. And sure enough, early potty training pays excellent dividends. And the pudding, like so much Asian cuisine, looks delicious!